Soy lecithin for Herbal Naturopathy: properties, benefits, uses, side effects

Soy lecithin is a natural product used in the food industry as an emulsifier and in supplements to control cholesterol.

Soy lecithin is a natural substance used as a food additive and as a supplement. Rich in omega 3 and omega 6, it plays above all a cholesterol-lowering action.

What is soy lecithin

Soy lecithin is a phospholipid found in soy beans. Lecithin is a chemical compound synthesized from choline, present in many foods and introduced into our body through food.

Lecithin can be of vegetable origin, such as that contained in soy but also in peanuts and wheat, or of animal origin, such as that present in eggs.

It was precisely from the study of egg yolk that the scholar Maurice Gobley discovered lecithin in 1850.

Where is he

Soy lecithin is found in Glycine max seeds, i.e. soy beans, from which it is extracted to be then used as a food additive and in supplements.

Since it is used in numerous food preparations as an emulsifier, soy lecithin can be present in numerous foods including chocolate, cucchaio desserts, ice cream and other products, especially sweets.

What is soy lecithin used for

Soy lecithin is used:

  • In the food industry;
  • in the cosmetics industry;
  • in the production of food supplements.

Within some packaged foods, soy lecithin is used as an emulsifier, that is, as a substance capable of stably binding fatty and aqueous fractions in a mixture. In food, when used as an additive, it is indicated by the abbreviation E322.

In cosmetics, as well as a natural emulsifier, soy lecithin is used to improve the health and appearance of the skin and especially the hair.

In lecithin dietary supplements, other than soy supplements, this substance is useful for controlling cholesterol levels, decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Properties of soy lecithin

Soy lecithin is a phospholipid with an emulsifying action, used to mix fatty and aqueous substances together. It is obtained from the processing of soy beans, it is rich in choline, omega-3 and 6, inositol, phosphorus, calcium and iron.

Soy lecithin has an anti-cholesterol actionprotects the liver, helps the nervous system and contributes significantly to the health and proper functioning of muscles.

Soy lecithin is a substance that can promote brain function thanks to the high intakes of choline, present in it.

The use of this substance is often recommended in case of mental fatigue, to rebalance the nervous system and act as a tonic. The absence of gluten makes it suitable for those suffering from celiac disease.

Benefits of soy lecithin

The benefits of soy lecithin mainly concern the cardiovascular system. By acting on cholesterol levels, in fact, lecithin can help prevent heart attacks, strokes and other pathologies of the cardiovascular system.

It also seems that lecithin can bring benefits even in case of high blood sugar, helping to prevent the onset of type II diabetes mellitus.

The benefits of soy lecithin also affect the nervous system, since this substance would improve the transmission of nerve impulses, supporting and preserving cognitive functions.

Uses of Soy Lecithin

Soy lecithin in the form of tablets, granules and powder is used as a supplement to lower blood cholesterol.

You can use soy lecithin in granules as a “seasoning” to first or second courses, milk, yogurt. In the kitchen, soy lecithin powder finds its use for its emulsifying properties. Just dissolve a couple of tablespoons filled in water and add it to the preparation, whether it is for the dough of a pizza or to make a cream more dense and velvety.

Thanks to its emulsifying property, soy lecithin is used to thicken creams and fillings.

Soy lecithin has a surfactant action and is very useful for the health of skin and hair. For this reason it is widely used in the cosmetic industry, to produce creams, shampoos, conditioners and to regenerate tissues.

Soy lecithin and cholesterol

Soy lecithin is recommended above all to reduce cholesterol. Within supplements, lecithin appears to be able to reduce total cholesterol levels, with no effect on HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol.

The use of soy lecithin to lower cholesterol should still be combined with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.


The intake of soy lecithin in food has no particular contraindications, except in case of allergy.

In the form of a supplement, it is preferable to consult your doctor if you want to take soy lecithin during pregnancy and lactation.

The contraindications of soy lecithin do not coincide with the contraindications of soy.


At normal dosages the intake of soy lecithin has no relevant side effects. Side effects of soy lecithin may appear with prolonged use or high dosages and include gastrointestinal disorders, such as nausea and diarrhea.

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